F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone says drivers should only be paid for scoring world championship points and plans to fine the high-profile sport stars - if they don’t wave at the crowd enough.
F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone says drivers should only be paid for scoring world championship points and plans to fine the high-profile sport stars if they don’t wave at the crowd enough.
According to , Ecclestone wants teams to institute a performance-related pay scheme to encourage drivers to drive more competitively on race days. In effect, teams would switch from the customary salary system, by which Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve receive about R240 million and R120 million per year respectively, to a bonus scheme.
"The drivers should be capable of motivating themselves but that doesn't always happen," said Ecclestone. "Perhaps we should be talking about drivers getting paid by results. It is impossible to force the teams to do it – but we should think about paying the drivers when they get points and not just fork out big salaries.
Ecclestone said that his system worked with triple world champion Nelson Piquet when he was in charge of the Brabham F1 team: "When I had Piquet in my team, I told him he would get paid when he got points. It worked - he didn't do too badly."
The F1 supremo also suggested that drivers improve their public demeanour so that they can “give something back to the raceday crowd on grand prix weekends”.
Ecclestone says that F1 should provide more of a show, especially on Sunday mornings during grand prix weekends. He even suggested that he might fine drivers who didn't wave to the crowd during the drivers' parade…
"We have to give back to the public," said Ecclestone. "Teams and drivers have to realise they can't take a championship medal and say, 'That's it'. Look at the people who sat in the Hockenheim stands in 35-degree heat. All they had to look at from F1 on the Sunday morning before the race was the drivers' parade.
“Twenty idiots on the lorry chatting among themselves and not even acknowledging the crowd. They didn't bother to wave or anything. Well, if they don't in future maybe we will have to fine them," Ecclestone fumed.